RED DEER, ALTA. – Crews have begun work on a new Alberta Health Services (AHS) building in Red Deer to house its Protection of Children Abusing Drugs (PChAD) program.
“Every young person deserves a safe home and a supportive environment in which to grow and thrive,” said Sarah Hoffman, Alberta’s minister of Health, in a press release. “I’m pleased we are starting construction on a facility that will provide better access to mental health and addiction services for more children and their families.”
The new facility will replace Red Deer’s temporary five-bed PChAD building with an eight-bed program that provides comprehensive assessment, detoxification, addictions counselling, health services and 24-hour care and supervision to approximately 170 children and teens in central Alberta annually. The current building is able to treat 100 young people a year.
“This new build will expand addiction treatment options and enhance services by making them closer to home for more youth aged 12 to 18,” said Laurie Holt, program manager, addiction and mental health, AHS — central zone. “This is good news for vulnerable youth and their families.”
The program’s goal is to help children and youth whose substance use has caused, or is at high risk to cause, major physical, psychological or social harm to themselves or physical harm to others, and who are refusing voluntary treatment. The Protection of Children Abusing Drugs Act is an Alberta law that took effect July 1, 2006.
To keep the patients safe and to protect their privacy, its location is not disclosed but it is on AHS land. Aside from the PChAD program, AHS provides addiction prevention, treatment and counselling services and programs within the City of Red Deer and across the central zone.